Maylei Blackwell

Maylei Blackwell

Maylei Blackwell

Professor & Vice Chair
Core Faculty

Office: 7343 Bunche Hall


Phone: (310) 825-3082


Professor Maylei Blackwell is an interdisciplinary scholar activist, oral historian, and author of ¡Chicana Power! Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement, published with University of Texas Press.

She is an Associate Professor in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies and Women’s Studies Department, and affiliated faculty in the American Indian Studies and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies. Her research has two distinct, but interrelated trajectories that broadly analyze how women’s social movements in the U.S. and Mexico are shaped by questions of difference ­ factors such as race, indigeneity, class, sexuality or citizenship status ­ and how these differences impact the possibilities and challenges of transnational organizing. Through collaborative and community-based research, Professor Blackwell has excavated genealogies of women of color feminism in the U.S. and accompanied indigenous women organizers in Mexico as well as feminist movements and sexual rights activists throughout Latin American. Her most recent research with farm worker women and indigenous migrants seeks to better understand new forms of grassroots transnationalism.


  • PhD, History of Consciousness Department (Women’s Studies), UC Santa Cruz (2000)
  • MA, History of Consciousness Department, UC Santa Cruz, (1996)
  • BA, Double Major in History and Interdisciplinary Studies of Race and Gender, minor: Spanish, CSU Long Beach (1993)


  • U.S. women of color feminist theory: Social movements and historiography, Chicana feminism
  • Women’s social movements in Mexico: Indigenous women’s political mobilization, Sexual rights and human rights organizing
  • Transnational organizing: Latin American feminisms, Cross border activism, Migrant indigenous organizing
  • Queer of color genealogies
  • Collaborative research, oral history and ethnography

Selected Publications

  • Blackwell, M. 2011. ¡Chicana Power!: Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement. University of Texas Press.
  • Blackwell, M. 2009. “Zones of Autonomy: Gendered Cultural Citizenship and Indigenous Women’s Organizing in Mexico.” In Gender and Cultural Citizenship: Rethinking Knowledge Production, Political Activism, and Culture, ed. The Working Group on Gender and Cultural Citizenship. New York: Palgrave Press. Pp. 39-54.
  • Maylei Blackwell, Rosalva Aída Hernández Castillo, Juan Herrera, Morna Macleod, Renya Ramírez, Rachel Sieder, María Teresa Sierra y Shannon Speed. “Cruces de fronteras,identidades indígenas, género y justicia en las Américas.” In Desacatos, núm. 31, septiembre-diciembre 2009, pp. 13-34.
  • Translation (English). “Remapping Gender, Justice, and Rights in the Indigenous Americas: Towards a Comparative Analysis and Collaborative Methodology.” Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association, Volume 14, No. 12: 302-334.
  • Blackwell, M. 2006. “Weaving in the Spaces: Transnational Indigenous Women’s Organizing and the Politics of Scale.” In R. Aída Hernández, Shannon Speed, and Lynn Stephen (eds.) Dissident Women: Gender and Cultural Politics in Chiapas. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. Pp. 240-318.
  • Blackwell, M. 2005. “Bearing Bandoleras: Transfigurative Liberation and the Iconography of la Nueva Chicana.” In Angela Davis and Neferti Tadiar (eds.) Beyond the Frame: Women of Color and Photography. New York: Palgave. Pp. 171-196.
  • Blackwell, M. 2004. “Tongues of Fire: A Tribute to Gloria E. Anzaldúa.” Journal of Chicana/Latina Studies 4:1 (Fall 2004): 136-141.
  • Blackwell, M. 2004. “(Re) Ordenando el discurso de la nación: El Movimiento de Mujeres Indígenas en México y la Práctica de la Autonomía.” In Natividad Gutiérrez Chong (ed.) Mujeres y nacionalismo: De la independencia a la nación del nuevo milenio. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Pp. 193-234.
  • Translation (English). 2007. “‘Engendering the ‘Right to have Rights’: The Indigenous Women’s Movement in Mexico and the Practice of Autonomy.” In Natividad Gutiérrez Chong (ed.), Women, Ethnicity and Nationalisms in Latin America. Hampshire: Ashgate, pp. 193-222.
  • Blackwell, M. 2003. “Contested Histories: las Hijas de Cuauhtémoc, Chicana Feminisms and Print Culture in the Chicano Movement, 1968-1973.” In Gabriella Arredondo, Aida Hurtado, Norma Klahn, Olga Nájera-Ramirez, and Patricia Zavella (eds.) Chicana Feminisms: A Critical Reader. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press. Pp. 59-89.
  • Translation (Spanish): 2008. “Las Hijas de Cuauhtémoc: feminismo chicano y prensa cultural, 1968-1973.” In Liliana Suárez Navaz and Rosalva Aida Hernández Castillo, eds, Descolonizando el Feminismo: Teorías y Prácticas desde los Márgenes (Decolonizing Feminism: Theories and Practices from the Margins). Valencia, España: Instituto de la Mujer, Ediciones Cátedra, Universitat de Valencia, pp. 351-406.
  • Alvarez, S., Friedman, E., Beckman, E., Blackwell, M., Chinchilla, N., Lebon, N., Navarro, M., Ríos, M. 2002. “Encountering Latin American and Caribbean Feminisms.” Signs, Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Volume 28, Number 2 (Winter): 537-580.
  • Translation (Portugese): “Encontrando os feminismos latinoamericanos e caribenhos.” 2003. In the Brazilian Feminist Journal Revista Estudos Feministas, Volume 11, Number 2 (July-December): 541-575.
  • Blackwell, M. and Naber, N. 2002. “Intersectionality in an Era of Globalization: The Implications of the UN World Conference Against Racism for Transnational Feminist Practices.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, Volume 2, Number 2: 237-248.
  • Translation (Portugese): “Interseccionalidade en uma era de globalização. As implicações da comferencia mundial contra o racismo para prácticas feministas transnacionais.” 2002. In Revista Estudos Feministas, Volume 10, Number 1: 189-199.